All of us have a memory of some food that helped us feel better when we were young. For some, it’s macaroni and cheese, for Italians it may be pasta fagioli. In my home it was liver and onions. All my brothers and sisters (I have two of each) loved it and still do. None of us make it at home, we all wait for the liver and onions my Mum makes. I don’t know what it is, but she makes it better than anyone.
The other thing I remember so strongly was rice pudding, it was always baked with cinnamon and was sheer magic for making you feel better.
I am from a Scottish family, although I was raised in Canada, so things like steak and kidney pie, scotch eggs, boiled eggs with toast fingers, and beans on toast were comfort food staples in my home.
I grew up with the British traditions, but today I have the recipes for my family’s and North America’s favourites. Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Soup, and Apple Pie. The recipes I am about to give you are my own and I have tweaked them to suit my family’s tastes, so they should not be considered the traditional recipes.
MACARONI AND CHEESE
- 1/4 C Butter
- 1/4 C Flour
- 1 Egg
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 ½ C Milk
- 1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 C ham, cubed
- 6 C or 2 lb Macaroni
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 Tblsp Worcestershire Sauce
- Cook macaroni until just before desired doneness. Drain and set aside.
- Beat the egg in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a small frying pan add 1 T of butter and let melt, throw in the chopped onion and cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes and then throw in the cubed ham. Fry until both look a little bit golden. And then set aside.
- Put remaining butter in a medium pot and allow to melt over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk for a couple of minutes, the add the dry mustard and onion powder and whisk that in.
- Add milk and whisk constantly for about 5 minutes or so until mixture thickens slightly.
- Add a little of this mixture to the beaten egg and whisk furiously, you do not want to scramble the egg. Add the egg mixture to the rest of the sauce and stir in the cheese.
- Add the onion and ham to the thickened sauce.
- Put macaroni into large baking dish and then pour over sauce and mix together thoroughly. Top with more cheese and bread crumbs if you like.
- Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and let cool for five minutes before serving.
- Serve with a green salad and garlic bread.
- 1 Tblsp Olive Oil
- 2 Onions, chopped
- 2 Carrots, chopped
- 2 Stalks Celery, chopped
- 1 Chicken (I usually buy a rotisserie chicken, remove the skin and then pull it apart, it makes this a much quicker dish, but if you want to use a fresh chicken just remember to alter the cooking time to at least 1 ½ hours before serving)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- ½ tsp Thyme
- Black pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- 4 quarts Chicken Stock or Water (if you are using fresh)
- ½ pkg Broad Egg Noodles
- In a large pot, heat oil and throw in onions, carrots and celery.
- Saute for a couple of minutes and then throw in the chicken.
- Add the bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Add chicken stock or water.
- Reduce heat till soup simmers gently, let it simmer for ½ hour (or 1 ½ hours for fresh chicken).
- Bring soup back up to the boil and add the egg noodles, cook for about 6-8 minutes and then remove the bay leaves.
- Serve with homemade biscuits.
- 8-10 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced or chunked
- 1 C Sugar
- 2 C Flour
- 1 C Butter or Shortening
- ½ tsp Salt
- 5-6 Tblsp ice cold water
- 1 tsp each cinnamon and ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 egg beaten
- 1 tsp water
- Peel and core Apples, then slice or chunk them and put in large bowl
- All 1 C of Sugar to the Apples
- In your food processor put the flour and salt.
- Cut the butter/shortening into small chunks and with the machine running add to the flour and salt.
- Add 1 Tblsp of ice cold water at a time, until the dough comes away from the sides of the processor.
- Remove dough from processor and flatten into two rounds, one slightly larger than the other.
- Wrap each of the discs of dough in plastic and put in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Leave smaller piece in fridge and roll out the larger of the two to at least two inches wider than your pie plate. Lay the dough carefully into the pie plate and make sure it is sitting firmly on the bottom and up the sides. There should be quite a bit of dough left hanging over the edges of the pie plate. Place back in refrigerator for a few minutes
- Add cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to the apples and stir to combine.
- Pull the pie plate out of the fridge and fill with apples, sugar, and spice mixture.
- Bring out thee small piece of dough and roll out an inch or so bigger than the pie plate. Put the dough carefully over the top and then crimp the edges. (You can use a fork to crimp the top and bottom together if you like).
- Cut off excess dough and then cut small slits in the top to allow the steam to escape.
- Put the pie back in the refrigerator and turn your oven on to 450. While you wait for oven to heat, beat an egg in a small bowl and add a tsp of water, mix together.
- Once oven has heated, remove the pie from the refrigerator and paint with the egg mixture, making sure not to cover up the slits in the top. Sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar over the top and place pie in the oven.
- After 10 minutes reduce the heat to 350 and continue to bake for another 45-50 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the apples inside are bubbling.
- If the pie is getting too brown around the edge, you can place a pie ring or a ring of tin foil around the edge.
- Let cool for a couple of hours and then serve with Vanilla Ice Cream.
I hope you like the three recipes I have given you. They are my family’s favourite comfort food.
Don’t forget to click on the follow link so you can get the next post.